Hmmm … another potent theme goes limp, thanks to inept treatment and puerile dialogue. Not that the line is anything new. But writer-director M. Prabhu could have added vim and vigour to the narrative, and the youthful cast could have been put to better use. Neither the hype nor the refreshing lead pair resurrects Adhey Naeram Adhey Idam (U/A) from the quagmire of predictability.

Karthik (Jai) belongs to a group of happy-go-lucky, not-so-keen job seekers. ‘Lollu Sabha’ Jeeva is one of them — besides Jai he is the only one in the gang who makes an impression.

Janani (Vijayalakshmi) is a college goer whose parents are broadminded and allow her to choose her life partner. Initially, she plumps for Karthik. But when her dad suggests the wealthy groom Shiva (Rahul) as a suitable match, she drops Karthik like a hot brick and marries Shiva. But is the jilted lover going to let her get away with the chicanery?

Jai’s comments about the girls who pass by, as he walks down the road with Janani are hilarious. Otherwise, the dialogue is passé. The rest of the light sequences are on usual lines. It’s time Jai begins to choose projects with more care and pay greater attention to expression. Vijayalakshmi isn’t a run-of-the-mill heroine in ANAI. But the character lacks depth and her emotions don’t convey enough. Can’t blame her though! After all, when the helmsman himself is in the dark about how to take the story forward, her confused reactions are quite understandable. Skimpily clad in songs and bold in intimate scenes, it’s a daring Vijayalakshmi that you see after her docile shows in Chennai-28 and Anjaadhey.

Dearth of ideas reins in the narration to an exasperating extent. The scenes of action are repetitive — how long can you watch sequences unfold at the different malls in the city? The heroine of ANAI is forever shopping! Also the camera takes its own sweet time to freeze a shot and move on to the next. And if the suspenseful sequences are meant to send your pulse racing, they only have the opposite effect. Taut editing could have helped matters.

Premgi Amaren’s music is a saving grace. At least four of the five numbers are foot-tapping pieces. And the lilting title score of Sabesh and Murali is a plus.

Listing the loopholes is a futile exercise, and anyway there are one too many. Suffice it to say that ANAI is an example of time, talent and labour gone waste.

Adhey Naeram Adhey Idam

Genre: Romance

Director: M. Prabhu

Cast: Jai, Vijayalakshmi, Jeeva, ‘Nizhalgal’ Ravi

Storyline: Of a girl who ditches her lover for a better catch, and the consequences …

Bottomline: Unsure of its time and place!